Friday, April 28, 2017

The Midderlands - A First Look

I've been thinking a lot about parallel universes lately.  As an example I recently had a conversation with +MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal) about the Midderlands product that he has been working on.  Email parallel universes are even weirder, as part of the discussion was originally about the Midderlands, but then I turned it on him and said "hey man here are your interview questions".  It's very much the whole chicken and the egg thing.  So instead of posting about the Midderlands first, I posted the interview instead.  All of this might be the other way around in a different version of the universe.  Interesting note though, The Midderlands is based on a part of England where Glynn lives.

The Midderlands itself is a twisted, medieval-fantasy version of a region fifty-miles across centred on where I live in England.  It’s an S&W Complete-based, OSR, mini-campaign setting with bestiary of monsters/NPCs and race-classes, and a hex-map, and whilst it’s not a hex-crawl, it could be used as such as some hexes are described.

So I'm currently digitally pawing thru a copy of Midderlands (a current draft).  First thing that strikes me is an "OSR Mini Setting", second thing I notice is that its a 155 pages.

Things to note:  Weird shit happens in the Midderlands, The Gods are disinterested in the place (although they are aware of it).  There is a lot of wonderful tongue in cheek humour (which I absolutely adore).

Here's the run down of the coolness of this "mini" setting.  First off it's not mini whatsoever.  Just reading thru it I keep getting inspired, ever single page there is a nugget of something that makes me go "Yes! this would be cool!".  There's a whole section on the variety of fish in the Midderlands, there are places of interest, monsters, classes, random tables, detailed hex map locations and a included adventure.  Everything you want in a setting.  And not written in the typical boring setting style.

I'm going to say there's a good 40+ monsters in this book.

Glynn has a cool collection of tidbits, maps, images that are going to be used in the Midderlands, you can follow it here: 

As far as the humour is concerned, it's honestly the kind of stuff that I always giggle at.  I personally think that a lot of adventures and modules take themselves a little too seriously, and this is a welcome change.

Hex 1122 provoked some much needed Monty Python type discussions.  At the table I could see this one being super entertaining.  And honestly this is just a taste.  There is a lot of great stuff in the hexes.

As the draft stands now it is easily run-able as a setting, I am curious to see what the end result is going to be however.

The nice thing about it so far (I'm currently reading it) is that its one of those settings that you can go in and tinker under the hood.  I've often talked about my hate for the cannon of the Forgotten Realms, and how it feels like I'm destroying something, because so much has been written about it.

The Midderlands gives you more than enough ammo to get cooking.  And I can only guess that by the time it is done, there will be a helluva a lot more awesome.

The layout is fantastic, the art and maps are what you have come to expect from Monkey Blood Design.

Spying over the fence there is a conversation on Gee Plus about what Glynn would like to see in the final product, and if that happens (even if its a special edition) it's going to break new ground.

I can't wait for this one.  As I stated earlier, it's inspiring.  There is something on every page, whether its a graphic, a interesting line, or a cool table.

At this point obviously this is still in its draft form, but WOW I can't wait to run this.  I'm thinking what might be a fun mashup is to take the Midderlands (look at the map) and to the east put in "Pyramid Of The Lost King" from Genius Loci Games. 

All images contained in this post are copyright Monkey Blood Design (2017), all rights reserved.

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